Rugby League: Prime Australian post for Murray

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The Independent Online
THE FORMER Leeds coach, Graham Murray, has landed the plum appointment at the Sydney City Roosters.

Murray initially resigned from his job at Headingley after two successful seasons that included winning the Challenge Cup this year, to take over the coaching role at North Sydney, but that post disappeared when Norths merged with Manly.

That left Murray, who had passed the point of no return with Leeds, out of work, but the resignation of Sydney City's coach, Phil Gould, earlier this week opened another door for him.

Murray, who previously coached Illawarra and the Hunter Mariners in his native Australia, will take over on a two-year contract in time for the 2000 season. His arrival will inevitably increase speculation about the likelihood of the two brightest jewels in the Leeds crown, Iestyn Harris and Adrian Morley, joining him in Australia.

Both players, currently on tour with Great Britain in Australasia, have expressed a keen interest in playing Down Under when their current Leeds contracts are over and Murray has always been their most vocal admirer.

Meanwhile, the departure of Gould, one of Australia's best qualified coaches, has equally inevitably seen him linked with both of Andy Goodway's current jobs - Wigan and Great Britain.

However, the signs are that Gould is not interested in either of those challenges, even if they were on offer. The Australian Test job, though, might be another matter; there are some in influential positions in Australia who would like to see the incumbent national coach, Chris Anderson, removed before next year's World Cup and Gould would be one of the leading candidates to replace him.

Wakefield Trinity have joined the race for the New Zealand winger Jonah Lomu. The Wildcats insist that they can match any offers for the All Black as the chase hots up for rugby union's hottest property.

The Super League club have now authorised the head coach, Andy Kelly, to secure Lomu's services for next season. "We are, obviously, aware of the widespread speculation regarding the interests of other clubs and other codes in securing his services," a Wakefield statement said.

"We believe that we can match any offers that may be on the table and present this highly gifted and talented individual with the opportunity and incentive to build a new career in rugby league in the company of the League's most ambitious club."

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